York Beach Maine
York, Maine is one of the nation's oldest cities, originally settled in 1624 by the Abenaki who called the town "Agamenticus," a term they used to refer to the York River. After being incorporated in 1642, York became the second oldest town in Maine (after Kittery). York's rich history, beautiful beaches, great shopping and delicious restaurants make it one of the top vacation destinations in Maine every year. There is a lot to see in York, including its several different villages: York Beach, York Village, York Harbor and Cape Neddick. York has a great location on the Southern Maine Coast and is one of the first towns in Maine off interstate 95. It is just over an hour north of Boston and five hours north of New York City, making it the perfect drive to New England getaway.
York beaches are popular summer hot-spots for family fun in the sun. Long Sands Beach is a beautiful 2-mile stretch of white sand and good surf. Located directly on scenic route 1A, Long Sands Beach is within walking distance of many hotels, inns, resorts, shops and restaurants. For a livelier beach setting, Short Sands Beach has an amusement park atmosphere, with a carousel, playground and arcade nearby that kids will love. Short Sands Beach is also located right near many York restaurants and shops, and York's Wild Kingdom amusement park and zoo. Be sure to visit the Golden Rod Candy Shop, a York favorite since 1896, where visitors can watch them make mouthwatering salt-water taffy in the window. There is also good nightlife in York Beach in the summertime with live bands and dancing at a few nightclubs by the beach.
York Village is home to many historic homes and architectural treats, especially Old York which is a must-visit for the whole family. History comes to life here and kids and adults alike will all enjoy the Museums of Old York. The Old York Historical Society operates several museums consisting of nine historic buildings. These buildings include the Old Gaol, which is the nation's oldest royal prison. Visitors can also tour the Old Schoolhouse and Jefferds' Tavern. The museums include historical New England artwork, original architecture and antiques dating back to the 1600s.
The Cape Neddick area is known primarily for its famous lighthouse, Nubble Light, located just a few miles off the coast. Nubble Light has become one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country. A visit to Sohier Park puts you in close proximity to the island Lighthouse, and also gives you views of Boon Island Light. So you can't actually go in the lighthouse, it is an island just off shore. The Nubble's Park, which features benches for relaxing and reading, is a favorite of residents and visitors alike. Passaconaway Beach is also located in Cape Neddick and is popular for its tidal pools during low tide.
York is a great foodie destination, as it is home to some of the best seafood restaurants on the Southern Maine Coast. Some of Maine's top lobster pounds and seafood restaurants are located in York. The York Harbor Inn, located on the waterfront, is famous for its Sunday brunches, wine dinners. Pub fare served in the Ship's Cellar Pub and delicious seafood served daily. Many York shops also offer Maine made gourmet foods, such as Stonewall Kitchen, which has its flagship store and Stonewall Cooking School in York. Stonewall kitchen is famous for its homemade jams, preserves, and Maine gift baskets. York also has several lobster pounds where you can buy Maine lobster to go, or fresh steamed for you to enjoy.
York also draws a large golfing crowd each year, with numerous golf courses like the 18-Hole The Ledges Golf Club or York Golf and Tennis Club. Kayakers will enjoy rowing down York River, 13-miles of smooth sailing that flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean.
Kids will love a visit to York's Wild Kingdom, Maine's largest zoo and amusement park. The zoo is home to over a hundred species of wild animals from all over the world. An amusement park with over 22 rides offers kids the fun of bumper cars, bounce castles, roller coasters, go carts and a Ferris wheel with awesome ocean views. The Wild Kingdom is conveniently located right in town, near shops, dining and Short Sands Beach.
Visitors looking for a little adventure on their vacation can visit Mount Agamenticus, the tallest mountain in Maine at 692 feet above sea level. Although Mt A was once a large ski area known as Big Mount Agamenticus is now enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders and picnickers who make the short climb to the summit for views as far as Boston, Cape Elizabeth and Mount Washington.
York has become a year-round vacation destination - no matter what the season, a visit to York will be a truly memorable and fun experience for all. In the winter, watch the Lighting of the Nubble at Christmastime for a festive start to the season. In the summer, visitors can enjoy York Days, an annual festival filled with food and fun for all ages. York's Harvestfest in the Fall is a great way to see the beautiful foliage and changing colors by the ocean and engage in some fun seasonal activities like pumpkin carving.
Visitors have many different lodging options in York, York Beach and York Harbor. Grand seaside inns are exquisitely decorated and maintained for an intimate and romantic feel. Larger resorts and hotels are perfect for family fun featuring large pools and recreational facilities. Beachside motels are affordable and enjoyable, with scenic ocean views and easy access to all that York has to offer.
It is no wonder why York has become one of the most popular spots on the Southern Maine Coast. Come visit York and see for yourself!